Writing Tips

If your submission is a paper, here are some suggestions to improve your piece as much as possible before submitting:

  • Proofread. Check your paper for correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Read through your paper out loud to check for confusing phrasing or word choice.
  • Make sure your paper is clearly organized.
  • Include a clear, unique, and narrow thesis. For example, instead of writing about poverty in Springfield, you could write about which factors determine the success or failure of specific drug-rehabilitation programs in poverty-stricken areas of Springfield.
  • If you use citations, make sure they follow the rules of whatever citation style you use, such as MLA, APA, or Chicago.
  • Make sure your claims are backed by reputable sources.
  • Avoid the word should. The presence of this word implies that you are making an argument based on personal beliefs rather than logic; such arguments are inappropriate in academic work.
  • If you write a research paper, consider using standard research paper elements: an introduction, literature review, methods, results, and conclusion. This format is not restricted to scientific research.